Ohio residents who feel that comprehensive asset protection strategies are chiefly a concern of the wealthy may be underestimating the financial perils of modern life. Individuals with stable incomes and excellent credit ratings can find themselves hounded by medical bill debt collectors after an injury or illness, and motorists who allow their minds to wander for just a few moments can face litigation and potentially ruinous damages awards if they cause an accident.
Those who are concerned about losing the assets that they have worked long and hard to earn sometimes feel that their estate plans provide all of the protection needed. Estate planning tools like revocable trusts are designed to be flexible and may provide some advantages, but they do not do much to keep creditors or litigants at bay. Assets placed in a revocable living trust can be distributed away from the public scrutiny of the probate process, but privacy and security are two very different things.
Tenancies by the entirety are a form of concurrent ownership that offer married couples a straightforward and inexpensive way to protect their assets, but these arrangements are not recognized in Ohio. Buckeye State residents who wish to protect themselves against lawsuits or creditors can instead purchase liability coverage from an auto or homeowner’s insurance provider.
Attorneys in Ohio with experience in this area may recommend liability coverage as part of a comprehensive asset management and estate planning strategy. Attorneys could explain how insurance policies, trusts and powers of attorney may provide both protection and peace of mind. An intelligent estate plan could also provide people with a greater degree of control over how their assets will be distributed and may prevent bitter disputes between heirs.